Growing up in Alberta, my standard for what constituted a big tree was pathetically low. I was delighted with something that grew to 30 feet, with a spread of 15 feet or so.
As I understand it, trees don’t get big unless they have long growing seasons, dependable moisture, and mild winters: the very things whose lack actually defines Canada’s Prairie region. So the trees of the American south and the Pacific Northwest have been a revelation and a delight to me. Likewise, of course, the trees of the temperate parts of Australia.
In Melbourne last November, we stood in the Royal Botanical Garden and listened to the tour guide’s orientation, but all my attention was over my head, on the lacy branches of an amazing conifer of some sort. Without any intervention on my part, the resulting photo, taken straight up as it were, was almost a silhouette.